Sometimes, when I don’t know what the hell to do next, and I’m feeling a bit unsettled, I draw some growing thing. When my youngest son started school full time and I suddenly had the house to myself for hours on end, I sat down and drew the giant tree in our neighbor’s backyard. I used charcoal on a giant pad of newsprint and filled the whole page.
Three days ago, I quit my agent of ten years. It was time, and I don’t regret it, but yesterday morning I woke feeling adrift and at sea. So I drew the tree again. This time with India ink and tempera on cardboard.
A lot has changed in 10 years. The giant tree is even bigger, and that youngest son is getting ready to pick a college.
I’ve changed too, but have I changed enough?
Mary Oliver asks,
“Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be